Blue Key 2017

Cypress Debayte took 101 debayters, coaches, and alumni to the University of Florida this weekend to compete in the national Florida Blue Key invitational. Of over 95 schools from eight different states, we are proud to announce (for the 2nd year in a row) we took the tournament by storm, earning 1st place overall school sweepstakes! This means our school was the champion of the whole tournament, and the #1 school out of all 95 schools in attendance, defeating our biggest rivals Western, Nova High School, NSU University School, and American Heritage. I guess lightning does strike twice…


Another major success for us was to see our alumni running the tournament like a well-oiled machine: Megan Hirsh, Lauren Adler, Zachary Pestcoe, and Kendra Blandon were all tournament directors, executing a wonderful weekend with true Cypress DeBayte pride. Seeing such amazing leadership from our alumni was truly inspiring and their dedication this weekend is a testament to the love they all share for the activity even beyond high school. #DeBayteLifers

Aside from our team award, we also received many individual successes. The senior team of Ethan Silvey and Andrew Briceno officially became our first of the season to qualify to the national Tournament of Champions in the spring — a rare achievement this early in the year and after only two tournaments! Please join us in congratulating them as well as the following Debayters for their successes:

Jean Qian and Kiran Raja (freshmen) were Novice Public Forum Debate Champions!

Jenee Cidel (senior) took 3rd place in Dramatic Interpretation, and 2nd overall in Dramatic Performance

Zach Levinson/Matthew Sloboda (freshmen) took 2nd place in Novice Policy Debate

Valentina Sarmiento (junior) and Joshua Gavsie (sophomore) took 3rd place in Varsity Policy Debate

Nicole Buckley (sophomore) and Alex Cohen (freshmen) took 4th place in Varsity Policy Debate

Gbemi Awonusonu (freshmen) and Sionika Thayagabulu (freshmen) took 4th place in Novice Public Forum Debate

Jonathan Lun (sophomore) was 3rd in Original Oratory

Jenee Cidel/Maya Hedrick placed 4th in Duo Interpretation

Maya Hedrick (senior) was 5th place in Dramatic Interpretation

Gustavo Duran (senior) was 5th place in Domestic Extemporaneous speaking and top 15 in Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking

Alexia Cosman (sophomore) and Zachary Wurtenberger (senior) placed 6th in Duo Interpretation

Alicia Marrero-Riera (sophomore) was 6th place in Program Oral Interpretation

Ambreen Imran (junior) was 11th place on Congressional Debate.


The following students were ranked in the Top 15 of their respective events: Noah Rabinovitch (junior), Aileen Flores (sophomore), Pranav Sattiraju (freshmen), Shreya Sutar (freshmen), Isabella Viera (freshmen), Roshni Sawlani (freshmen), Anwesh Katragadda (freshmen), Arthur Sun (freshmen), Jose Quinones (junior), and Maria Duran (sophomore). The following people were ranked in the top 25 of their respective events:  Zhuoqi Cai (sophomore), Cory Wurtenberger (sophomore), Gus Lanz (sophomore), Susan Denis (junior), Joseph Mullen (sophomore), Tristan Wertanzl (sophomore).
All in all, Florida Blue Key was a major success for Cypress DeBayte and we hope it is indicative of a successful season to come. Next up, the team will strike in two places at once: some varsity members at the University of Michigan and the rest right in our own backyard at the Nova HS Titan Invitational.


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